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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Grant to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County

Project Teaches Children and Camp Counselor About Composting and Recycling

Contact Information: 
Jennifer May-Reddy (may.jennifer@epa.gov)
Mary Mears (mears.mary@epa.gov)

(New York, N.Y. – June 2, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $40,000 environmental education grant to the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County. Cornell Cooperative Extension’s project establishes composting and recycling programs at three rural youth camps that serve low income children in northern New York.

The program’s camp counselors are trained to educate campers on how to reduce waste, compost, and recycle. Each camp is developing an environmental stewardship plan, which includes recycling infrastructure and onsite composting systems. The program involves about 3,800 campers, most of whom are from low-income families, and 60 camp counselors.

“This project is environmental stewardship at its finest,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “The skills these campers are learning about recycling and composting is something they will take back to their homes and it is a lesson that will stay with them throughout their lives.”

The project will include outdoor, experiential, service-learning and community-focused stewardship activities as the primary teaching tools at the following camps: 4-H Camp Wabasso; FFA Oswegatchie Education Center; and 4-H Camp Overlook. The campers who will participate in the project range in age from eight to15 years of age.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County was one of three recipients to receive the 2015 round of environmental education grants from EPA Region 2, which is responsible for New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight Indian Nations.  A total of $222,000 was awarded in EPA Region 2 for the three grants and funding nationwide for this round of grants totaled more than $3.3 million. Nationally, EPA funded 35 grants from organizations in 26 states for the 2015 Environmental Education Grants.

Since 1992, EPA has distributed approximately $68 million supporting more than 3,600 projects. This competitive grants program supports environmental education projects that increase public awareness about environmental issues and provide participants with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment.  

For more information on the new awardees and on how to apply for future environmental education grant competitions, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/education/environmental-education-ee-grants.